Welcome back to CABR, Marin 🙂
Hi Sasha! Thanks for having me on the blog today—I’m excited to be here!
What inspired you to write about a cowboy falling for a bull-riding cowgirl, who also happens to be his little sister’s best friend?
I knew as soon as I came up with the idea for the final three books in my Rodeo Rebels series, featuring women’s roughstock events that a secondary character in the books, Shannon Douglas, needed her own story. What I didn’t know until I was writing A Cowboy’s Duty (Aug 2012) was that the heroine’s brother in that book would make the perfect hero for Shannon.
Tell us about your favourite scene in THE COWBOY NEXT DOOR
One of my favorite scenes is in chapter 4, when Johnny Cash and Shannon’s rodeo partner, C.J. Rodriguez square off. As you can imagine with a name like Johnny Cash, the poor guy receives his fair share of teasing. When Shannon’s rodeo partner makes fun of his name it hits a nerve and a scuffle breaks out. This fight makes Johnny admit he has feelings for Shannon and he’s in big trouble because in his mind there are too many reasons they can’t be together.
“Better hold tight, Douglas, or that bull will stomp your head!”
Shannon placed her boot back on the ground. “Is that any way to treat your better half?” she said, loud enough to turn heads.
Johnny stiffened next to her, but she kept her eyes on C.J. This was part of the show—their love-hate relationship. Dynasty Boots wanted fans to believe they were a warring couple—fiercely competitive during the rodeo then wildly passionate for each other afterward.
C.J. smiled for the cameras. “You’ll never make it eight, Douglas.”
Johnny stepped between them. “Give her some breathing room, Rodriguez.”
“Jealous, Cash?” C.J. nodded to Johnny’s clothes. “I see you’re dressing like you namesake.”
“You got a problem with my name, Rodriguez?”
“If you don’t have anything nice to say…” Johnny smirked. “You know…shut your mouth.”
C.J.’s gaze cut to Shannon. “Is Cash doing all your talking for you, now?”
She cringed when she saw their images on the Jumbotron. “Back off, C.J.”
“You think I’m afraid of a country-western wanna-be?” C.J. puffed out his chest.
Johnny bumped the brim of his Stetson against C.J.’s. “You heard the lady. Back off.”
Before Shannon realized Johnny’s intent, he swung his fist, catching C.J. across the jaw and knocking him backward. The group of onlookers steadied C.J. then thrust him toward Johnny.
C.J. threw the next punch, catching Johnny across the cheek, but Johnny kept his balance and took another swing at C.J. The shorter man ducked then pushed Johnny to the ground, where they rolled in the dirt.
Rodeo officials intervened and pulled the men apart just as the announcer’s voice boomed over the sound system. “Looks like there’s trouble in paradise.”
Cheers and boos echoed through the stands.
Shannon stuck her face in C.J.’s and whispered, “You probably just cost us our sponsorship. Happy now?”
C.J. walked off, rubbing his jaw and the crowd dispersed.
“You okay?” Johnny asked.
“I’m fine.” She touched her fingers against the bruise forming on his cheek. “What about you?”
“This isn’t the first time I’ve taken a punch defending my name.”
“If you ask me, folks, it looks like we’ve got ourselves a little love triangle between Shannon Douglas, C.J. Rodriguez and…who’s that you say?”
The Jumbotron showed the announcer conferring with one of the scorekeepers. “Johnny Cash.” The crowd stomped their boots on the metal bleachers. “That’s right, folks…The Man in Black.”
I’ve been to several rodeos over the years but sadly I’ve never see a woman compete in bull riding.
I studied youtube videos of female bull riders to get a sense of how they handled a bull, and I stumbled across a couple of female roughstock riders who’d blogged about their experience competing in a man’s world.
I also found some great newspaper interviews where female rodeo riders shared their experience competing in roughstock events.
Is there a musical soundtrack for your book?
Checkout my Johnny Cash Playlist on Pinterest. I’ve pinned his top ten hits from YouTube.
Will your fans be able to get signed copies at any upcoming events?
eBooks or paperbacks?
Paperbacks…I still love the feel of a book in my hands, but you can’t beat the convenience of traveling with Kindle or Nook and having several books on hand!
Favourite type of book to escape reality with?
Romance of course! Check out my Goodreads page for a list of books that have caught my eye.
If you could spend the day with anyone in history, living or dead, who would it be and why?
My paternal grandmother, Lela. She died when I was eight years old and I never really had a chance to get to know her.
Her own mother died when she was three and at the age of 18 she became a nanny for the children of a wealthy railroad executive in Nebraska, where she met my grandfather who was stationed there in the peacetime army.
Of the many stories I hear about my grandmother the one closest to my heart is that during her free time she’d go horseback riding by herself, find a secluded spot and spend the afternoon reading dime romance novels. I sometimes wonder if the stories I write are coming from my grandmother or me!
1) Check out my Johnny Cash Playlist on Pinterest, then post a comment below, telling me which one of his songs is your favorite?
2) Complete the rafflecopter below
ONE commentator will win an autographed copy of The Cowboy Next Door, a $10 Amazon gift card, a set of 6 Johnny Cash miniature hat pins, and 10 Johnny Cash commemorative postage stamps.
She Doesn’t Need His Protection!
Hardworking cowboy Johnny Cash has always been a protector to his little sister’s best friend, sweet but tough cowgirl Shannon Douglas. It’s pretty crazy for girls to ride bulls—yet it’s her life to live. Then he realizes he’s got some purely male instincts toward her, too. But absolutely no way can he fall for his boss’s daughter—if he loses his job, there’ll be hell to pay at home….
Shannon was raised to be strong and independent. She wants a national title so bad she can taste it—and she needs Johnny’s help. His protectiveness drives her crazy…the same way his kisses do. But she’s not about to hang up her bull rope because of him! Her heart says he’s the one—but her own stubborn streak might push away the only man who might actually understand her.
CONTACT Marin Thomas: